Roy Hogdson: Raheem Sterling needs thicker skin.

England boss Roy Hodgson reckons Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling needs to toughen up after he was booed throughout the Three Lions' friendly against Republic of Ireland on Sunday.

The 20-year-old - who has been labelled as Liverpool's contract rebel - put in a below-par performance in the goalless draw at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin which delighted the home fans.

However, Hogdson praised Sterling's approach to shrug off any criticism after the tie.

"I think he's going through a bad time publicly," the former Liverpool and Inter Milan boss said.

"You can't expect people just to shrug off the criticism he has been receiving.

"He does ever so well and tries well to shrug it off, let his football do the talking. He needed this game to realise that, if he is going to get it out of his system, he's going to have work harder still and get a thicker skin than he has at the moment.

"I have no reservations (about Sterling). I trust him," Hodgson added. "But players are not robots. He's done some fantastic things for us, but today he didn't hit those heights.

"It'll take a lot before I and the English national team sway from Raheem Sterling.

"We only took him off today was to give others the game, to air the squad."

        Advertise With Us